Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments



G (continued)
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Gone With the Wind (1939)

In the Best Picture-winning Civil War dramatic romance-epic by director Victor Fleming:

  • the image of the beautiful Tara plantation
  • the sequence of the BBQ at Twelve Oaks
  • the first view of roguish Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) at the foot of the stairs
  • the announcement of war
  • the crowds reading the casualty lists in the aftermath of Gettysburg
  • the ever-fascinating and fiery Rhett & Scarlett (Vivien Leigh) relationship, including their first meeting in the library when Scarlett threw a vase at the fireplace mantle - and Rhett emerged (Scarlett: "Sir, you are no gentleman," with Rhett's retort: "And you, miss, are no lady")
  • the character of Scarlett's black-maid Mammy (Oscar-winning Hattie McDaniel) with her oft-said: "It ain't fittin'"
  • the Atlanta charity ball scene in which Rhett danced with a black-dressed "mourning" Scarlett
  • the slow-moving pull-back crane shot from Scarlett walking through Atlanta's open-air "hospital" at the train station, searching for Dr. Meade (Harry Davenport); the pull-back revealed thousands of wounded/dying Confederate soldiers - in the final panoramic image she was lost in a sea of human suffering as the Confederate flag came into view
  • the siege and burning of Atlanta scene
  • Rhett's forceful kiss of Scarlett: "You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how"
  • Prissy's (Butterfly McQueen) hysterical whining: "I don't know nothin' about birthin' babies"
  • Scarlett vowing in a barren field: "I'll never be hungry again!" after vomiting from eating a dug-up radish root vegetable
  • Scarlett's encounter with a Union deserter on the staircase
  • the image of Scarlett wearing a green velvet gown sewn from the living room drapes
  • the scene of Mammy telling Melanie (Olivia de Havilland) that Rhett had killed young Bonnie's pony after the tragic accident
  • the conjugal rape scene of Rhett asserting his will and carrying headstrong wife Scarlett up the stairs and threatening: "This is one night you're not turning me out"
  • Scarlett's headlong fall down the staircase
  • Melanie's death-bed scene making Scarlett promise to take care of Ashley (Leslie Howard)
  • Rhett's troublesome closing line after the treacherous Scarlett had asked: "What about Tara? What about me?" - "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"
  • Scarlett's tearful resilience in the famous last line: "After all, tomorrow is another day!"

The Good Earth (1937)

In Sidney Franklin's dramatic epic:

  • the scene of O-Lan (Luise Rainer) kneeling down and picking up his discarded peach pit and saying to peasant farmer Wang Lung (Paul Muni): "A tree will grow from this seed" - and later her planting of the seed
  • the scenes of the drought and famine
  • the terrifying revolutionary mob scene in which the palace "Great House" was ransacked/looted and pregnant O-Lan's stomach was stepped on during the mad rush
  • the amazing, brilliantly-photographed battle against the locust plague and invasion devastating the crops and farms
  • O'Lan's poignant deathbed scene in the film's ending when Wang Lung gave her two pearls ("You are the best a man can have") - and as she died, the two pearls rolled from her outstretched hand
  • the delivery of the film's final lines at the final fade-out - his words next to the peach tree outside: ("O-Lan, you are the earth")

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966, It./Sp.) (aka Il Buono, Il Brutto, Il Cattivo)

In the final installment of Sergio Leone's violent, 'spaghetti western' trilogy, about a trio of gunslingers searching for a hidden treasure of Confederate gold during the Civil War:

  • the introduction of Mexican bandit Tuco "the Ugly" Ramirez (Eli Wallach), Sentenza "the Bad" (Lee Van Cleef) (aka Angel Eyes), and bounty hunter Joe "the Good" - also known as "Blondie" (Clint Eastwood) (or "The Man With No Name") in the opening scenes
  • after collecting a $2,000 bounty in a scam, Blondie's rescue of Tuco by shooting the hanging noose around his neck; their escape together on one horse, and their uneven splitting of the bounty money
  • the scene in which Setenza had ordered a band of Confederate prisoners/musicians to play in order to drown out the screams of his tortured victims
  • the Civil War battle for the bridge and its explosive detonation
  • the touching and compassionate moment that Joe covered a dying soldier with his own duster and offered a cigarette for a final smoke
  • Tuco's shooting, from under the foamy water of his bubble-bath, and remarking to the dead One Armed Man (Al Mulock) afterwards: "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk"
  • the climactic, excessive scene of a three-way duel/showdown (a quintessential Mexican standoff) in the vast circular Sad Hill Cemetery between the three ruthless, gunfighting drifters: Joe (or Blondie), Sentenza (Angel Eyes) and Tuco - enhanced by Ennio Morricone's score ("The Trio") and repeated detailed closeups (of guns in holsters and facial expressions with an astonishing 96 edits or cuts) with increasing speed and frequency, culminating in Blondie's gunning down of Sentenza who collapsed into an open grave
  • the finale, in which the bags of Confederate gold (worth $200,000) were found in an unmarked grave in the remote cemetery, with Tuco's elation at the discovery ("It's all ours, Blondie!"), but then a noose loomed into view, and Tuco was strung up - but again was ultimately rescued with a well-placed gunshot from a distance to sever the rope and drop him onto his share of the gold; Tuco yelled out a final insult: "Hey, Blond! You know what you are? Just a dirty son-of-a-b-!"

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939)

In Sam Wood's classic drama told in flashback about a beloved schoolteacher at a British boys' boarding public school:

  • the scene during a walking trip within Austria, of schoolmaster Mr. Charles "Chips" Chipping (Oscar-winning Robert Donat), alone and unseen on the balcony, hearing British suffragette Katherine Ellis (Greer Garson) say: "I'm sorry for shy people. They must be awful lonely sometimes"
  • the scene of their goodbye at the train station when Katherine shook Chips' hand and kissed him goodbye as she uttered the film's title: "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"
  • the scene after Katherine's death (in childbirth) when the dazed Chips went to his classroom and sat stoically while listening to a student recite a Latin lesson
  • Chips' retirement ceremony scene
  • the tearful deathbed scene and conclusion in which Chips countered the statement that he never had children: "But you're wrong...I have...thousands of them...thousands of them...and all boys!" - and then he closed his eyes while smiling, as the camera rose up when he passed on - he dreamily remembered many schoolboys filing past to repeat their names at call-over, while the music of the school song swelled in volume in the background

GoodFellas (1990)

In Martin Scorsese's crime mob-underworld classic:

  • the gory sequence (in the film's opening and later) in which Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) and Jimmy 'the Gent' Conway (Robert DeNiro) sadistically killed old-time mafioso Billy Batts in a car's trunk
  • their stop-over at Tommy's house to get a knife and shovel (and his mother's acceptance of his ludicrous explanation for his bloody shirt during a midnight pasta dinner)
  • the tense/comical scene in Sonny's restaurant the Bamboo Lounge, in which the loud-mouthed, volatile Tommy pranked the laughing, wise-guy Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), by pretending to take offense and menacingly asking: "What do you mean, I'm funny? Funny how? How'm I funny?"
  • the long, 3-minute, unedited, Steadicam tracking shot of an overwhelmed Karen (Lorraine Bracco) and Henry entering the Copacabana nightclub through the back entrance
  • the scene of Henry beating a guy's face with the butt of his gun after an unwelcome pass - and Karen's turned-on response (in voice-over) to his violent defense of her: "I got to admit the truth. It turned me on"
  • Tommy's cold-blooded murder of bar-boy Spider during a card game
  • the scene with a discussion about great prison dinners
  • the scene in which Karen straddled an awakening Henry with a pistol pointed at his head
  • the scene of Tommy's 'induction' into the Mafia - when he was shockingly shot in the back of the head
  • the jump-cut, frenetic sequence of a paranoid, cocaine-addicted, hallucinating Henry preparing a meal and delivering drugs while being tracked by a helicopter
  • the final image of Henry - now suburbanized after being inducted into the Witness Protection Program, and realizing that he would now have to live a normal, non-gangster life: "I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook"
  • the homage to The Great Train Robbery (1903), with Tommy shooting six shots directly into the camera (and at Henry, in his mind)

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

In director Barry Levinson's comedy war drama:

  • the manic, partly ad-libbed and improvised on-air broadcasts of mid-1960s, Vietnam-era Armed Forces Radio DJ Adrian Cronauer (Oscar-nominated Robin Williams) - beginning with his salutation in his debut show before a barrage of non-stop humor: "Gooooooood Mor-ning, Viet-naaaaaam! Hey, this is not a test! This is rock and roll. Time to rock it from the Delta to the DMZ..." with topics ranging from a description of Nixon's testicles: ("That they're soft and they're very shallow and they serve no purpose") to the DMZ's similarity to The Wizard of Oz: ("What's the demilitarized zone? It sounds like something from The Wizard of Oz -- 'Oh no, don't go in there!' 'Ohhh-wee-ohh, Ho Chi Minh...Follow the Ho Chi Minh trail!'") - and the Pope's bathsoap product: ("Also the Pope decided today to release Vatican-related bath products. An incredible thing, yes, it's the new Pope On A Rope. That's right. Pope On A Rope. Wash with it, go straight to heaven")
  • and during his first break - his off-mike question to his assistant Edward Garlick (Forest Whitaker): "Too much?"

Good Will Hunting (1997)

In director Gus Van Sant's coming-of-age drama:

  • the scene of the second meeting between South Boston psychologist Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) and 20 year-old troubled, but intelligent genius and MIT janitor Will Hunting (Matt Damon) at Boston Common overlooking swan boats on the pond, when Maguire counseled Will about experiencing life more than rationalizing about it: ("You're just a kid. You don't have the faintest idea what you're talking about...You don't know about real loss, 'cause that only occurs when you've loved something more than you love yourself. And I doubt you've ever dared to love anybody that much. I look at you. I don't see an intelligent, confident man. I see a cocky, scared s--tless kid. But you're a genius, Will. No one denies that")
  • the "It's not your fault" scene in which both Sean and Will discussed how they were victims of child abuse, and how the trauma continued to affect Will - with Sean's assurances that it wasn't his fault: (- "It's not your fault." - "Yeah, I know that." - "Look at me, son. It's not your fault." - "I know." - "No. It's not your fault." - "I know." - "No, no, you don't. It's not your fault. Hmm?" - "I know." - "It's not your fault." - "Alright." - "It's not your fault. It's not your fault." - "Don't f--k with me." - "It's not your fault." - "Don't f--k with me, alright? Don't f--k with me, Sean, not you!" - "It's not your fault. It's not your fault." - "Oh, God, Oh God, I'm so sorry")

The Graduate (1967)

In Mike Nichols' classic 60's generation-gap comedy:

  • the opening credits with young and recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) on a plane 'descending' into LA - and then on an airport conveyor belt
  • the memorable Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack
  • the famous one-word line of advice at a celebratory party held by his materialistic parents: "Plastics...there's a great future in plastics"
  • the scene of the lecherous, close family friend Mrs. Robinson's (Anne Bancroft) brazen seduction of a bewildered Benjamin as she perched with her left leg on a bar stool in her home (with the camera shooting under her upraised leg) - and his befuddled reply-question: "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me! - Aren't you?"
  • Mrs. Robinson's further seduction upstairs by appearing topless - first reflected on the picture glass of daughter Elaine (Katharine Ross)
  • the image of Benjamin submerged in his parents' swimming pool with scuba gear to escape from everything
  • Benjamin's nervous first-time check-in at the hotel for the affair and the seduction scene in the hotel room - followed by his seduction scene in the bedroom in which he prematurely kissed her while she was trying to exhale cigarette smoke
  • the jump-cut of Benjamin hoisting himself up onto an inflatable rubber pool raft and landing on top of Mrs. Robinson in bed (and another jump cut with his father asking: "Ben, what are you doing?") - with his response that he was "drifting"
  • the shocking revelation to Benjamin's girlfriend Elaine that Benjamin was sleeping with her mother
  • Benjamin's mad rush (running at an extreme depth of focus camera, making him appear to be running in place) to stop Elaine's wedding and rescue her
  • Benjamin at the church's choir loft window raising his hand up and repeatedly banging on the glass and crying out: "Elaine!"
  • his securing the church door with a large cross
  • the final lingering shot of them in the back seat of a yellow Santa Barbara municipal bus riding into an unknown future

Grand Hotel (1932)

In Edmund Goulding's Best Picture-winning melodramatic ensemble film, featuring all of the stars of Hollywood's Golden Age:

  • the setting of a ritzy Berlin hotel
  • the characters including a young stenographer Flaemmchen (Joan Crawford) and ballerina Grusinskaya (Greta Garbo) - both being seduced by Baron Felix (John Barrymore)
  • Garbo's immortal lines - she actually asked to be alone two different times: "But I want to be alone" to John Barrymore's character (who asked her: "Please let me stay"), and "I just want to be alone" to a group of others
  • the film's final line voiced in the lobby by physician Dr. Otternschlag (Lewis Stone), who never received messages at the desk nor noticed the multi-charactered dramas in the hotel and how lives were changed: ("The Grand Hotel. Always the same. People come. People go...nothing ever happens")

Grand Illusion (1937, Fr.) (aka La Grande Illusion)

In Jean Renoir's Nazi-banned, anti-war masterpiece about a prisoner of war camp during WWI in 1916, and the 'grand illusion' and hypocrisy of men at war - the first foreign film to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture:

  • the scene of aristocratic, stern but gracious host Prussian officer Capt. von Rauffenstein (Erich von Stroheim) inviting his two French aviator-pilot POWs after shooting them down -- plebian mechanic Lieut. Marechal (Jean Gabin) and nobleman Capt. de Boeldieu (Pierre Fresnay) - to acquire preferential treatment ("If they're officers, invite them for lunch...I am honored to have French guests") with an elegant lunch before they were taken to the Hallback prison camp; the scene established the camaraderie between two opposing enemy officers with common aristocratic roots; at one point, Rauffenstein confided in Boeldieu: "I don't know who will win this war, but whatever the outcome, it will mean the end of the Rauffensteins and the Boeldieus"
  • the famous musical variety-revue show sequence: one of the men donned a women's costume as everyone raptly watched - and a tuxedoed singer Cartier (Julien Carette) sang a nonsense-song: ("Have you met Marguerite? She is neither tall nor petite. With eyes that glow, Skin like snow, and Lips in a Cupid's Bow, Well when this divine creation...") and led a group of prisoners dressed as female-impersonating showgirls in a stage dance
  • the interruption of the stage show by news from the front - read backstage in a newspaper by French prisoners Marechal and Lieut. Rosenthal (Marcel Dalio), a wealthy French Jew; Marechal took the stage and shouted out the recent news that the French had retaken Fort Douaumont in the epic Battle of Verdun: "Stop the show, fellas! We've captured Douaumont! It's in the German papers" -- the group of French POWs (on stage and in the audience) defiantly and proudly began to sing their national anthem - the Marseilles - in front of their German guards-jailers in a one-minute moving frame shot amongst the men
  • the sequences of the POWs digging an escape tunnel
  • the scene of Russian prisoners opening up a wooden crate sent from the Empress, who insensitively sent them textbooks and cookbooks instead of food
  • the iconic image of von Rauffenstein as a stiff, uniformed Prussian aristocrat with a steel back and neck brace, white gloves (to cover battle burns) and wearing a monocle - later appointed as commandant of Wintersborn, a converted, medieval 13th century castle - the German's maximum-security camp
  • and the later scene of Boeldieu's fatal self-sacrificing diversion when reluctantly shot in the stomach by von Rauffenstein (to allow Marechal and Lieutenant Rosenthal to escape)
  • the touching deathbed farewell to Boeldieu by the consoling German Rauffenstein - and mourning von Rauffenstein's clipping of a flower from his geranium plant as a poignant gesture after his death, to honor his friend and to punish himself
  • the escapees (Rosenthal and Marechal) taking refuge in the remote farmhouse of widowed German farm woman Elsa (Dita Parlo) and ultimately finding safety across an invisible border as they traversed through a snowy valley - when German troops came upon them and began shooting, the patrol leader shouted out: "Don't shoot! They are in Switzerland," to which another responded: "All the better for them"; the final view was of the two trudging through deep snow to freedom

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

In John Ford's seminal film with documentary-like photography of cinematographer Gregg Toland, about migrant tenant farmer Okies in the Depression-Era:

  • Tom Joad's (Henry Fonda) dramatic meeting with preacher Casy (John Carradine)
  • Muley's (John Qualen) two flashbacks and speeches about losing the land
  • the nostalgic return of Tom to the family homestead from prison
  • the scene of Ma Joad (Oscar-winning Jane Darwell) pausing to moon over and then burn her letters/souvenir-keepsakes (a newspaper clipping, a postcard, a china souvenir, and earrings) in the stove before departing in a dilapidated truck on a long drive for California with the promise of employment (including the image of her holding earrings to her ears and viewing herself in a mirror)
  • the scene of the lunchroom waitress selling candy at reduced half-price to the Joad children
  • fugitive Tom's eloquent farewell to his heartbroken Ma with the words: ("Well, maybe it's like Casy says. A fella ain't got a soul of his own - just a little piece of a big soul. The one big soul that belongs to everybody...Then it don't matter. I'll be all around in the dark. I'll be everywhere - wherever you can look. Wherever there's a fight so hungry people can eat, I'll be there. Wherever there's a cop beatin' up a guy, I'll be there. I'll be in the way guys yell when they're mad. I'll be in the way kids laugh when they're hungry and they know supper's ready. And when the people are eatin' the stuff they raise, and livin' in the houses they build, I'll be there, too")
  • his silhouetted march up a distant hillside
  • Ma's final inspiring words in the front seat of a pickup truck in the conclusion: ("We're the people that live. They can't wipe us out. They can't lick us. And we'll go on forever, Pa... 'cause... we're the people")

Gravity (2013)

In director and co-writer Alfonso Cuarón's and Warner Bros.' stunning drama and outer-space survival tale:

  • the film's amazing cinematography and CGI special effects to capture the vastness and beauty of space
  • the stranding of two astronauts, Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) and Lieut. Matt Kowalski (George Clooney), during a space walk to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, after stray space debris struck the telescope and their NASA spacecraft the Explorer
  • the self-sacrifice of astronaut Kowalski when he commanded his partner: ("Ryan, listen...You have to let me go...the ropes are too weak. I'm pulling you with me. You have to let me go or we both die")
  • the difficult re-entry ("one hell of a ride") into Earth's atmosphere, as the pod-capsule holding Dr. Stone tumbled and dangerously overheated, caught fire due to a malfunctioning heat shield, and landed in a lake; she was forced to evacuate the pod almost immediately, stripped off her spacesuit to avoid drowning, swam to the surface, and miraculously reached the shore (a scene symbolic of her rebirth as she struggled to evacuate from the water)

Grease (1978)

In Randal Kleiser's quintessential pop musical with a 50s score, and the romantic comedy's setting of a high school in Southern California:

  • the portrayal of the various cliques at Rydell High School in the late 1950s: the leather-jacketed greasers known as T-Birds, and the rebellious Pink Ladies
  • the late 50s characters: swaggering but limber American greaser Danny Zuko (John Travolta) - leader of the leather-jacketed T-Birds, sweet and virginal Australian transfer student Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) (until the finale) - Danny's summer lover, and ultra-cool bad-girl Rizzo (Stockard Channing) - leader of the Pink Ladies and Danny's ex-girlfriend
  • the various stereotypical scenes of life as a teenager - at a pep rally, at a school dance, a local malt shop, a drive-in movie theatre, the 'Thunder Road' drag race, and a graduation school carnival
  • the many production and dance numbers, such as the title song: "Grease," and "Greased Lightnin'" in an auto-shop
  • the ups and downs of the romantic relationship between Danny and Sandy
  • the likeable, top-selling soundtrack, including such hits as the cross-cutting "Summer Nights", a lamenting Sandy's singing of: "Hopelessly Devoted to You", heartbroken Danny's singing of "Sandy" at the drive-in movie theatre, and the climactic "You're the One That I Want", and "We Go Together" at the school carnival between Sandy (in a skin-tight black outfit) and Danny in a black T-shirt

The Great Dictator (1940)

In director/actor Charlie Chaplin's political (anti-war) comedy satire (Chaplin's first all-talking feature film):

  • the scene of unnamed Jewish barber (Chaplin) shaving a customer in time to a radio broadcast of Brahms' Hungarian Dance No. 5
  • the comically-tense scene in which he faced a suicidal mission if he found a coin in his pudding cake - and his painful consumption of three coins (only to hiccup them out at the last moment, like winnings spit out from a slot machine)
  • the comedic scene of egomaniacal Hitler look-alike Tomanian dictator Adenoid Hynkel (Chaplin) and Mussolini-like Benzino Napaloni (Jack Oakie) seated adjacent to each other in adjustable barber's chairs as they competed to be higher
  • the sublime mock ballet sequence of Hynkel dancing with a balloon - a floating world globe of the earth - a visual, satirical metaphor of the world he hoped to dominate
  • the final "Look up, Hannah" anti-fascist, pro-democracy speech made by the Jewish barber (Chaplin), disguised as Hynkel; in its conclusion, the speech was heard on the radio by refugee Hannah (Paulette Goddard) and her family: ("Hannah, can you hear me? Wherever you are, look up, Hannah! The clouds are lifting! The sun is breaking through! We are coming out of the darkness into the light! We are coming into a new world, a kindlier world, where men will rise above their hate, their greed and brutality. Look up, Hannah! The soul of man has been given wings and at last he is beginning to fly. He is flying into the rainbow! Into the light of hope! Into the future, the glorious future that belongs to you, to me, and to all of us. Look up, Hannah! Look up!")

The Great Escape (1963)

In this WWII prison-camp escape film from John Sturges, about the building of a tunnel for a 'great escape' from the Stalag Luft North:

  • the character of Allied POW loner, the irreverent USAAF Captain Virgil "Cooler King" Hilts (Steve McQueen)
  • his exciting attempt to escape from the German prison as he (actually stuntman Bud Ekins) daringly vaulted a stolen German motorcycle (a Triumph TR-6 Trophy 650CC, actually a British model and not a German made BMW) over a six-foot barbed-wire prison fence at the German-Swiss border, although soon was captured after becoming ensnared on a second fence
  • Hilts' dramatic entrance back into the prison in handcuffs, where he was told by the recently-relieved commandant, Luftwaffe Colonel von Luger (Hannes Messemer), that he was "lucky" because "fifty" other POW friends had been executed; the commandant added: "It looks, after all, as if you will see Berlin before I do"
  • Hilts' return to his cell, where he was again heard by the guard, endlessly bouncing a baseball against his cell wall into his baseball mitt
  • the film's final dedication to the "Fifty"

(alphabetical by film title)

Intro | Quiz | A1 | A2 | A3 | A4 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | B6 | B7 | C1 | C2 | C3 | C4 | C5 | D1 | D2 | D3 | D4 | E
F1 | F2 | F3 | F4 | G1 | G2 | G3 | G4 | H1 | H2 | H3 | I1 | I2 | I3 | J | K | L1 | L2 | L3 | L4 | M1 | M2 | M3
| M5 | M6 | N1 | N2 | N3 | O1 | O2 | P1 | P2 | P3 | P4 | P5Q | R1 | R2 | R3 | R4
S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | S7 | S8 | S9 | T1 | T2 | T3 | T4 | T5 | U | V | W1 | W2 | W3 | W4 | YZ

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